What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
RFan, that's an argument for roster building.
But once the roster is set and Kinsler is already on it, it's a different analysis. At that point, the way to get the most value from Kinsler will be to get his bat in the lineup in such a way that it maxes out the defensive potential of the COMBINATION of resulting players, while getting the best set of hitters playing.
For example, let's assume(1) Kinsler is a better hitter than either Profar or Moreland, and (2) Kins and Profar can play 2B equally well, and (3) Kinsler and Moreland can play 1B equally well.
In that circumstance, Kinsler's actual highest value to the Rangers will be to replace whichever of Profar or Moreland is the worst hitter. If Profar is the better hitter between he and Moreland, then Kinsler would actually INCREASE his value to the Rangers by playing 1B rather than 2B. And for the purposes of determining where to play Kinsler, his value to the Rangers is all that matters, and the impact on his "WAR" is meaningless.
@David. I was responding to a post that Kinsler could bulk up and start hitting with power when he already had power but was a lead off guy but better suited for power by hitting in the middle, nothing more. I do agree with the above post, and it gives a player a chance to establish himself and see what he's made of. Let Profar show us his stuff. I am not ready to watch him hit for a week then not see him again for a month. Time to find spots for these kids and let'em get at it.
Procurion: Aha, gotcha. Makes sense. And while I'm as excited as everyone else about Profar, Olt, and others, I agree that they have to be given time, see what they got, and if they show what we think is there, they need to keep being used like anyone else. I'm frustrated by Wash's propensity to cool off hot streaks by kids, in his way of sitting the one when he's going well for so long that he gets rusty and becomes far less effective when used again, That's simply dumb managing and it's gotta stop.
@primi: true about Carew. Been a while, though, hasn't it?
David is right, we have to distinguish between players' value when building a roster vs. fielding a team once the roster is set, and we can re-evaluate it when transactions are made.
Right now, we will assume no further trades or FA signings, and go with filling out the roster with the players currently on the 40. In this case, one decision not everyone seems to agree with is the 1B-2B situation. Right now, it seems like the likely situation will be either Ian at 1B and Profar at 2B, or Mitch at 1B and Ian at 2B, at least for the "normal" lineup. Which of these is better is probably going to be hard to predict for the time being, as Mitch hasn't ever played a "full" season, and the batboy has like 3 at-bats to his name. There's also the question of Ian's defense.
You can argue that Ian loses value by moving to 1B. And you're probably right. But the contract has already been signed. Unless he's traded, we should assume it's a sunk cost. And once you assume that, you stop worrying about whether or not the contract is a good one, and you try to make the best team you can. Saying that the team gets worse by moving Ian to 1B because he's likely to produce less WAR, just for example, is a logical fallacy, because it's not feasible to just assume the Rangers can go find an ideal 1B like, say, Pujols.
Having Ian play 1B isn't the scenario I'd like to see most, but it's not the worst thing we could do, especially if the Rangers have essentially decided Mitch won't be the everyday 1B for the foreseeable future.
"RFan, that's an argument for roster building. "
Yes. My point is that signing Kinsler to a huge contract with the expectation that he would move to 1B would have been a collosal mistake on JD's part. So either (a) JD is not a very good GM or (b) JD never expected to move Kinsler to 1B. If (b) is correct, then we can surmise that JD must've contemplated trading Andrus prior to extending Kinsler. With Profar about ready to go, it made sense to extend either Andrus or Kinsler but not both.
What has everyone scratching their heads is why the Rangers extended Kinsler and now seem unwilling to trade Andrus. It makes no sense b/c Kinsler has so little value at 1B or COF. Why sign the guy to a huge contract if you expect to move him to a position where he has so little value?
I can only conclude that either JD made a huge and obvious mistake in the Kinsler extension or he fully intends to trade Andrus and just hasn't pulled the trigger yet b/c he thinks he can get something better than Upton.
If Andrus is a Ranger for 2 more years, then the Kinsler extension was a blunder of epic proportions for JD. Perhaps, the nail in his coffin as Ranger GM. As a 1B, Kinsler's contract won't come close to paying off. It'll make the MY extension look like a marvelous success by comparison.
To make the discussion more concrete, Kinsler had a wRC+ of 99 last season and a 3.2 fWAR. Among 1B, Carlos Pena had a wRC+ of 98. Pena's fWAR was 0.9. Pena had a positive UZR so he was a slightly above avg. defender.
Kinsler is a better baserunner than Pena and would no doubt be a better defender. So as a 1B, Kinsler would've had higher than a 0.9 WAR last season. But it probably wouldn't have been a lot higher. We're probably talking 1.5 WAR from a guy getting paid $15 mil per year. And that's at the front end of his contract. That's just horrible.
Rfan, it's true that Kinsler may eventually prove to have been given a mistake of a contract
But regardless, whether to have him play 1B isn't a decision that should be determined by the size of his contract and whether he'll be a bargain or not. As Andy noted, once the roster has been populated, the contracts are sunk cost.
In addition, we have to allow for the likely possibility that the Rangers might see themselves as being in a bit of a transitional time. For now, they have to figure out how good Profar will be at the ML level and when he'll be ready to be made a fixture there. Then they have to figure out who stays and who goes after that. For all we know, when all is said and done the ideal course for Kinsler may be to be the Rangers' 1B of 2013, but their 2B of the future.
To be more specific to something you said I can only conclude that either JD made a huge and obvious mistake in the Kinsler extension or he fully intends to trade Andrus and just hasn't pulled the trigger yet b/c he thinks he can get something better than Upton.
To me it has little to do with Upton. Instead I think it's obvious that (a) Profar got to Arlington faster than the Rangers expected, but (b) because of how Wash used (or misused?) the kid, they still don't feel they got a solid handle on how he'll perform in the bigs. And they don't want to let go of either Andrus or Kinsler until they are SURE they have a more-than-equal replacement in Profar. For that reason, they have decided to wait until mid-season or end of 2013 to swap one of the three.
Profar made it to the Major Leagues on an expected trajectory. He had a solid season at AA last year, but it was like he absolutely forced the Rangers to call him up. He easily could have finished the year in AA and gone to AAA in 2013. That doesn't appear to be the case.
Through the timeline of events in 2012, I can only conclude that the Rangers could not re-sign Elvis at a discount (before the season), so they gave about half what Elvis is expected to make in FA to Ian. Profar's call up coincided with what appeared to be the blueprint for getting his feet wet before Elvis was moved this offseason, this sliding Jurickson to SS and keeping Ian at 2B. I can't objectively see how JD would give Ian an extension of $15 million AAV with the expectation he'd move to 1st and become a 1.5-2.0 win player, making it impossible to justify his contract.
So, yes, I must agree with RFan on this issue. I will remain befuddled if JD does not trade Elvis Andrus this offseason, and would consider it a colossal mistake.
* wasn't like he absolutely forced
Befuddled? It's not a mystery that Kinsler IS hurt. C'mon. put the puzzle together pragmatically.Even Ian states he was highly considering an operation. Cartlidge, ligaments and tendons donot heal on thier own. Texas needs Elvis and Profar, for 2013. Stats never tell the whole story.Eyes and ears still play a big part in a players evaluation. In this case, Kinsler shot the flair high.Nobody listened. Instead, Rangers sign Kinsler to a BIG extention, whithout a Medical Evaluation.Surprise! Our New "Super Utility" player.
I wouldn't call Profar's arrival an "expected trajectory".....he is 19. That is one reason Washington did not play him much. A nineteen year old's body is still changing and to bet the farm on his brief performance, get rid of All-Star caliber players based on guesses as to what he will be in even 2 or 3 years wou;d be grossly irresponsible. The road to MLB is littered with thousand of corpses. But you DO have control of an elite SS for two years.
Remember Andy Marte? Brandon Wood? Adam Miller? Andrew Miller? Jeremy Hermida? Heck, Hermida hit a grand slam as a pinch hitter in his first ever MLB at-bat!!! I am surprised to hear/read talk about "nail in his coffin" and such about the best Rangers GM this team has ever had. What do y'all want? Theo Epstein and switch out Washington for Bobby V? Now THAT would be fun reading!
(1) I wouldn't call Profar's arrival an "expected trajectory".....he is 19. That is one reason Washington did not play him much. (2) A nineteen year old's body is still changing and to bet the farm on his brief performance, get rid of All-Star caliber players based on guesses as to what he will be in even 2 or 3 years wou;d be grossly irresponsible. (3) The road to MLB is littered with thousand of corpses. But you DO have control of an elite SS for two years.
(1) What's irresponsible is baselessly speculating the motives behind our manager's decisions. If the Rangers didn't have an end goal in mind with Profar (likely with eyes on the 2013 season), it frankly makes no sense to bring him up. If the plan all along was to have Elvis as the SS in 2013, the most logical option would be to keep Jurickson in the Minors, saving his clock, and saving Ian Kinsler's value at his natural position.
(2) It's not necessarily betting the farm on Profar. That's a lofty, inaccurate expectation for 2013. The point is, you have Elvis who's (i) the team's biggest trade chip, (ii) a team that has clear needs and limited financial resources, and (iii) a replacement who can give oodles of surplus value on the cheap. Profar is set to make about 1/10 what Elvis is making the next two years. His production isn't necessarily supposed to eclipse Andrus's, but it will be a better bang for the buck.
(3) Yes, we have control of Andrus for two years. We're also going to lose him in two years. With an adequate replacement in hand, can I please get a reasonable big-picture (entire roster) explanation as to why he has not been traded yet? Remember, you're not only dealing with the issue at SS; you're talking about the affected tributaries that run off at 2B, 1B, DH, and potentially the OF.
So, just so I understand it right, if we had signed Greinke for three years, this year would be the only season we would play him? Providing we had a young pitching prospect coming up, maybe one who had pitched some last year but we got mixed results on? Like Perez or grimm? Profar did not distinguish himself any more than Perez or Grimm did. I am poking at you a bit Eric, but in good fun, turning it around a bit. I agree with #1, too many people ignore the situation in the clubhouse last year and how quickly manager can change players who have a large fan base. It makes sense, though to look at our bench last year. Who in the heck were they supposed to play? I mean, we had nothing!I don't know what Snyder was all about...some days he looked ok and others, meh. We had no Vizquel, no older player-oh, well....we had HIMSELF. Maybe that was the ultimate problem. My brother once referred to MY as the turd on deck in the hangar that you couldn't get rid of :)
The reason these arguments for playin kins at 1b don't make sense is bc the offseason isn't over. Sure if kins and profar are better hitters than Moreland then we get maybe a war by replacing mm with kins when the season starts and we have value wasting away on the bench. However if we managed the team properly and trades one of the three for a substantial upg at another pos or even prospects then that will increase the value of the team significantly more... And potentially free up future $$ Say profar ss kins 2b laroche 1b upton rf Cruz dh. Looks a lot better than andrus ss profar 2b kins 1b and say Bourne in cf with mm gentry Martin all benched. The point is teams look at kinsler and see 3 war 2bman. If we play him at 1b we are losing 2 war to opportunity cost which could easily be acquired by trade
Not really. When you're talking about the proposition of where to play him, the "value" of his offense is fixed, and it's based on his ability as a hitter. It's his defensive ability that may vary based on where he plays, and then his value at one position or another is determined not by comparing him to other 1Bs or 2Bs or OFs around the league, but rather to what lineup alternatives each place allows -David
This is incorrect a ss/c who hits 850 ops has more offensive value than a 1b. This is why kinsler or posey go early in fantasy. It's harder to find good bats at these positions. Value here is measured by opportunity cost. You can't find a catcher who hits 30 hrs but you can easily find a dh/1b. All 1bs rake so losing a 30 hr guy for a 28 hr guy at 1b may in your definition be a downgrade. However if that 30 hr guy is a dh and the 28 hr guy is a catcher your team just improved offensively. 850 ops c are better at offense than .900 ops 1b bc you have to compare them relative to the other players at the position
We can bitch about whether or not Ian's contract will eventually be regarded as bad, but assigning it a value is largely a function of WAR or things like it, and is therefore imperfect. Also, that's a separate issue from where he plays in the Rangers' optimal configuration given their current roster.
"You can't find a catcher who hits 30 hrs but you can easily find a dh/1b."
Fine. Find us a 1B that would be better than Mitch, Ian, and Olt.
@AndyDoor Open: David Murphy, c'mon Down!
@AndyDarin Erstad played firstbase and hit leadoff for the Angels. Anybody involved in this discussion could have a field day analyzing why a team would move a gold glove center fielder to first because of a logjam in the outfield.
RangerMelons, you've missed my point. I understand that in general it's harder to find a SS in MLB who can give you an 850 OPS.
But my point is that 1 The 850 OPS doesn't change - and therefore the value as a hitter for the Rangers doesn't change - by shifting positions. If you have that 850 OPS SS, playing him at SS one day or 1B another, he still gives you 850 OPS. 2 At some point, finding that "easy to find 850 OPS 1B" may have become impossible. Why? Because the team has already done their roster juggling, he isn't already on the roster, and their lineup choices are limited to what they already have.3 You talk about opportunity cost in relation to position, but this isn't the same world as fantasy baseball where you simply swap out one set of players for another. In this one, opportunity (to grab a different player) is finite, so is money, existing contracts limit the choices elsewhere, and team continuity matters. Kinsler is already on the team with the contract he has, and we;re probably really close to it being an exercise in determining the best way to make THESE pieces fit.4 So the comparative analysis to determine what position offers a specific player's best value to the team has to be one that compares not to a theoretical AAAA "replacement player" or that focuses on the theoretical WAR that's available from this position or that, but rather one that shows which position will allow the most value using the alternatives and limitations of the team's fixed roster.5 In that sort of analysis, Kinsler's best value for the Rangers in 2013 may prove to be at 1B, and his offensive contribution won't be gutted if he plays 1B rather than 2B.
Yes David. Especially when you consider the Rangers won't have Young at 1B at all this year. I'd rather see Mitch, Ian, or Olt; Ian and Mitch are likely to be better on offense than Young this year, and Olt might be. Either way, it's an upgrade.
Vlad would be an upgrade over Young at first.....even Benji
So, just so I understand it right, if we had signed Greinke for three years, this year would be the only season we would play him? Providing we had a young pitching prospect coming up, maybe one who had pitched some last year but we got mixed results on? Like Perez or grimm? Profar did not distinguish himself any more than Perez or Grimm did.
I've read this like 4 times, and I still have no idea what you're saying.
Jurickson Profar didn't distinguish himself, because, well, he had a whopping 17 plate appearances as a sample. If you're going to base the art of distinguishing one's self on 17 PA's, you might as well say, "Hey, he led off his career with a home run!" or "Well, he had a game-winning hit in Tampa Bay!" or "But he's totally clutch because he's 1-1 in the postseason!"
The fact is, for one reason or another, Ron Washington didn't utilize his bench down the stretch. That's his fault. That's the organization's fault. Had Jurickson compiled closer to 80 or 100 PA's after he was called up, you probably would have seen more conclusive results. But even at that, you're talking about a kid who's even younger than I am, and I'm only 22.
Bill James has him projected next season at a triple slash of .264/.341/.425, with 16 home runs and 20 stolen bases. I find that to be a pretty liberal projection, and I'm as high on JP as anyone around. But even if he falls short of that, it still kills in comparison to Andrus's best offensive season, in 2012, where he hit .286/.349/.378, with 3 home runs and 21 SB's.
Let's just face it, Elvis Andrus is never going to be a plus hitter. I'm not talking about Alex Rodriguez; I'm talking about a guy who can consistently throw up wRC+'s north of 110. Profar can almost make up for Andrus's WAR at SS in 2013 with his bat alone. His defense and base running only need to be average. But if we're basing what we say on scouting reports, which I tend to do, we should know that JP is + in both categories, even if he doesn't have the overall glove and overall speed Andrus does.
Levine yesterday told us what is to happen. Obvious, especially when Hamilton's deal went over $20 a year ended the Rangers interest, no matter the posturing after the 5/$125 deal. The Rangers biggest weakness is lack of a #3, there biggest strength ss, with 4 quality major league level or soon-to-be defensive oriented in : Andrus, Profar, Garcia (Iit is why he is on the 40-man roster) , and DO NOT FORGET Sardinas. So the debate over Kinsler is pointless, because in 2013 he is going to be at second. Andrus will be an all star somewhere else, and a Stanton / Upton / or like (and there are few likes) in LF or RF, batting third, ahead of Beltre. Though, yes the Diamondbacks did trade for a SS prospect, but they want to win now and feel they are an all-star SS away from taking it all in the West. So what is their strength now? / THUS, an Upton deal is not buried yet.
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